Problem solving

Good Judge Bad Judge- Analysis of Business Problems

Franklin Osuji Onuwa Written by Franklin Osuji Onuwa · 2 min read >

Business problems most likely lead to financial problems, and vice-versa; it isn’t sacrosanct. A good Analysis of a Business Problem hones our ability to make good judgments. In this blog, we are going to learn how we can correctly analyze business problems. It is important that we get to the root cause of the problem whilst analyzing and not just the symptoms of the problem.

The first step in analyzing a business problem is to understand the situation you’re in. To fully understand a situation, you need to come up with a system that works for you; and mine is to ask myself the “five WIVES and a HUSBAND”- I know, it’s just a mnemonic I use for better understanding and recollection (cringe-worthy). The mnemonic stands for-

  • What is the problem?
  • Where did the problem occur?
  • Who are the parties involved in this problem?
  • Why are we having this problem?
  • When did this problem occur?
  • And lastly, How are going to solve this problem?

If you ask yourself these “five WIVES and a HUSBAND” and find yourself going in circles with the answers, then that means you are not asking the right questions. You need to ask until you reach a point of decision. It all depends on who is asking the question and what you aim to achieve. You must look from the perspective of the protagonist, not your view.

After understanding the situation in which you find yourself/ business, the next step would be to identify the right problem. You need to avoid confusing symptoms with problems. It is important to note that the way you state a problem frames your decision. If you as an executive don’t fully understand the situation, then you are most likely going to identify the wrong problem. Having a cross-functional team helps in this regard to identify the right problem.

The third step is to form your objectives and be guided by them. Yeah, objectives will stipulate what the vision is- what are you trying to achieve? What would you rather have? Would you rather face a different situation or are you able to solve the problem at hand? Knowing what you want will give you a clear road to your decision. You need to be guided by your objectives.

After forming your objective, the next step will be to brainstorm on those objectives and their alternatives. It is good to know what you want, but it is also better to have an alternative if your main objective doesn’t go as planned. Your alternatives are your next best options. It is wise not to have too many similar people forming a decision to form the best possible alternatives. This is because you need to learn and possibly accommodate different scenarios and different opinions on a subject matter.

The fifth step would be to develop your criteria. The criteria refer to the system that works for you. Giving yourself a benchmark to weigh against. Developing the criteria is to make a comparison between the options you have at hand.

Evaluating the alternatives using the established criteria is the next line of action to take. This helps you streamline the most important factors to consider; also gives you a clearer view of the situation to face and route to follow.

Make a final decision after evaluation. And after making the decision, you develop your action plan as the last step involved in the analysis of the business problem. But always be ready to re-evaluate in case things are working out after a given period.

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